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PNG LNG Kumuls head coach Michael Marum reflected on last Saturday night’s 24-6 loss in the Pacific Test Oceania Cup to Samoa and how they will prepare for November 9, the second leg match against Fiji in Wellington, New Zealand.
Marum said it was a tough night (last Saturday night) for them against Samoa given they (Samoa) were an experienced team and they just did not do enough around the ruck area.
“But it was really good to see some young players playing well in the game.
“Some of our experienced forwards did not play as expected and that is something we just need to look at moving forward,” Marum said.
One of Kumuls major injuries was to North Queensland Cowboys dummy half Kurt Baptist, who suffered an ACL injury.
“Kurt Baptist is the major one (causality) with 12 months ACL injury, so unfortunate and a big concern for us now.
“PNG Rugby Football League through Kumuls will probably have the announcement by Thursday (tomorrow) in doing what to assist him,” said Marum
“We’ve got plans there to make sure we assist him in every possible way and again with the Pacific Test match is insurance in which NRL looks after that side. From the PNGRFL under Kumuls we’ve discussed a few options.”
Marum said there will be changes to the squad depending on availability, injury and suspensions between now and November, which is a long way.
“There will be review on performances of all the players. We are building towards the next World Cup and the next game (against Fiji on November 9) will be very important for us.
Fiji had a very good game against Lebanon by putting a very good show with all their experienced players,” said Marum.
He said they want to make sure all the boys are healthy all throughout the season, get selected and be ready to play against Fiji.
“There will be options there for players in Super League like David Mead (Catalans Dragons) and Wellington Albert (Widnes Vikings).
Players apart from Super League like Wartovo Puara Jr, Watson Boas, Stargroth Amean, Willie Minoga, Thompson Teteh and all those other boys can be considered, depending on positions,” said Marum.
He said if they need halfback probably Watson Boas can come in and the same with other positions for the other players to fill.
“We will invite everyone in because they are in the big squad we have and there are options there for them to make the side again.”.
SOURCE: POST COURIER/PACNEWS
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